Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


UPDATE: Every morning we review and individually digest Florida political news articles, editorials and punditry. Our sister site, FLA Politics was selected by Campaigns & Elections as one of only ten state blogs in the nation
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Welcome To Florida Politics

Thanks for visiting. On a semi-daily basis we scan Florida's major daily newspapers for significant Florida political news and punditry. We also review the editorial pages and political columnists/pundits for Florida political commentary. The papers we review include: the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Naples News, Sarasota Herald Tribune, St Pete Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Tallahassee Democrat, and, occasionally, the Florida Times Union; we also review the political news blogs associated with these newspapers.

For each story, column, article or editorial we deem significant, we post at least the headline and link to the piece; the linked headline always appears in quotes. We quote the headline for two reasons: first, to allow researchers looking for the cited piece to find it (if the link has expired) by searching for the original title/headline via a commercial research service. Second, quotation of the original headline permits readers to appreciate the spin from the original piece, as opposed to our spin.

Not that we don't provide spin; we do, and plenty of it. Our perspective appears in post headlines, the subtitles within the post (in bold), and the excerpts from the linked stories we select to quote; we also occasionally provide other links and commentary about certain stories. While our bias should be immediately apparent to any reader, we nevertheless attempt to link to every article, column or editorial about Florida politics in every major online Florida newspaper.


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The Blog for Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"Massive Political Do-Over"

    "Florida lawmakers are getting ready for one massive political do-over."
    After deadlocking earlier this month over lowering property taxes, lawmakers could return to work June 12 staring across a similar divide.

    Gov. Charlie Crist and House Speaker Marco Rubio, the twin poles in the debate, have both been clear about the need to pacify taxed-out Floridians.

    They've also been just as elusive about the details.
    "Crist, Rubio agree that Floridians are taxed out". For where the key GOPers stand see "Profile: Charlie Crist", "Profile: Marco Rubio" and "Profile: Ken Pruitt". More: "Legislators not exempt from homesteading talks" ("Where the proposals stand").

    "Big forces are at odds as Florida lawmakers wrestle with the state's property-tax laws, seeking to pin down a populist solution that also pleases the business community that started the fight a year ago. Actual lobbying expenses in the statewide debate won't be available for months - presumably after the dust has settled - but financial reports show just how huge the players are." "Taxes lure big-time lobbyists".

    Meanwhile, "Property tax cuts could cripple tool used to redevelop declining neighborhoods".

    Dem Confusion

    "Florida's decision to move up its presidential primary to January is adding new levels of confusion for state and national Democrats and their candidates." "Democrats stuck in primary prison". See also "Democrats' primary may not count. So what, some say".

    Hold Your Noses

    "The Florida Legislature, with support and prodding from Gov. Charlie Crist, did the citizenry some good with its new elections law, namely by moving up the presidential primary to January and making the state a power player in the high-stakes contest. But many Floridians ought to hold their noses, because the benefits come at a price. At the last minute, a number of anti-voter provisions were snuck into the ultimately bloated, 80-page bill." "Legislature".


    "Ask anyone you know if they want a tax cut and they'll almost certainly say yes, and make it big."

    Legislators heading into a special session on how to cut local taxes understand the public mood. What they don't seem to understand is the flip side of the issue, where passions also run high.

    If taxes are cut, services must be cut too. Counties experiencing rapid growth are far behind in providing needed services such as new roads and transit, a drought-proof water supply, smaller classrooms, adequate jails and enough deputies.

    Major budget cuts will put them farther behind, and sharply lower taxes on new homes will remind everyone that newcomers won't soon pay enough for all the services they demand today.
    "Falling In Love With Tax Cuts Could Make State Hate Growth".

    "Conspiracy Theory"

    "It's a conspiracy theory made for Florida's most avid government geeks: The Legislature guts local property-tax structures then forces cities and counties to turn to legalized gambling as a way to keep police on the street and school buses running." "Rolling the dice".


    "Crist's appointment of Shannon Estenoz to the board of the South Florida Water Management District sent a jolt of excitement through Florida's environmental community." "Environmentalists Laud Picks".

    Money Man

    Thirty-three year old "Adam Putnam remains the wealthiest member of the Tampa Bay area congressional delegation, with his stake in his family's citrus and cattle business making him a millionaire several times over."

    Putnam, the third-ranking Republican member of the U.S. House and scion of a prominent family in Polk County agriculture, reports that his assets by the end of 2006 were between $3.2 million and $13.2 million.

    Putnam's overall net worth - tabulated by subtracting his reported liabilities from his assets - is between $3 million and $13 million. That would place him among the wealthiest members in the 435-seat House.
    And how did this "achiever" make his millions? Why, he did it the old fashioned way, he "unearned" it:
    the largest of Putnam's assets listed was his ownership share of Putnam Groves, worth between $1 million and $5 million. He also reported having $1 million to $5 million in Citrus and Chemical Bank accounts.

    Most of Putnam's "unearned income" from assets - $1 million to $5 million - was listed as "S" corporation income from Putnam Groves.
    And then there's Mel:
    The House and Senate don't officially release these reports for public review until June. But this month, Nelson and area members of the House agreed to provide theirs to The Tampa Tribune upon request. Republican Sen. Mel Martinez declined.
    "Putnam Is Area's Richest Lawmaker".

    Mandatory Insurance

    "It took longer than she had hoped, but Florida State this fall will be the state's first public university to require health insurance, starting with freshmen and other new students." "Better have health insurance before enrolling at Florida State".

    Lake O

    "Lake Okeechobee nears lowest level ever".


    "Second-time presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich made three Tampa Bay stops in his first Florida campaign visit Saturday, bringing along his newest campaign asset, a striking British bride." "Kucinich's Words, Wife Are Turning Heads". See also "Kucinich Will Campaign In Florida Despite Party Boycott".

    FCAT Fiasco

    The Miami Herald editorial board:

    Newly discovered errors in tallying last year's FCAT scores heighten long-held concerns about high-stakes testing. Yes, Florida's teachers, schools and school districts must be held accountable for teaching children to read, write, count and think. Yet the errors call attention to the FCAT's critical role as the single most-defining measurement of success or failure for students, schools and entire schools districts. Is that right? We think not.
    "Test should inform, not drive education".

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